A traffic light to direct the movement of people based on the incidence of the coronavirus in the area of origin. It is the principle of agreement reached this Friday by the ambassadors to the EU of the 27 member states. Next Tuesday it is expected to be ratified by the European Affairs Ministers. “This is a big step forward,” said German European Affairs Minister Michael Roth: “Coordination around covid in the EU is key to the safety of our citizens and the protection of Schengen and single markets.”
Common criteria for quarantines, tests and a unified color code: Brussels recommendations to end travel and border chaos
According to the document supported mostly this Friday, prepared by the rotating presidency of the EU, Germany, will be declared a high-risk red zone, and therefore subject to travel restrictions, any region that exceeds an incidence of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days and has a positive rate greater than 4%.
Red zones will also be those that, without reaching 4% positive, exceed an incidence of 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The next level of risk below red would be orange: any region that does not exceed an incidence of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days and has a positive rate of more than 4%; or if the case incidence rate is between 25 and 150 and the positivity rate is less than 4%.
And the green zone, without risk, would be one with less than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days and a positive rate of less than 4%.
What the 27 have not been able to agree on is what measures should be applied in each of these areas, be it testing or imposing quarantines. Thus, governments have decided to reserve the power to decide at all times and in accordance with their national strategies what measures to apply in their territory or what conditions to require from travelers from areas where the pandemic is most prevalent.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will be the body in charge of drawing up the incidence map and updating it weekly, based on the information provided by the States, from which data is requested at a regional scale to the extent as possible.
Spain has finally joined the majority of countries that have given their support to the text, despite the fact that during the negotiation it asked to go further in the measures for each zone and advocated prioritizing diagnostic tests over quarantines, a reference that has disappeared from the final text, reports Europa Press.